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Old 06-19-06, 06:11 PM   #1
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Its Alive! (Karate Monkey with pics)

I finished the Karate Monkey late last week with much help from my LBS owner (Joe, at Columbus Cycling and Fitness, Columbus Indiana). Joe is a great guy and he stayed after hours to help with the things I don't have tools for, or just don't know to do. I don't think you'll find a more supportive LBS owner anywhere. He does 24 hour turn around on repairs, but for minor stuff, I've never had to wait more than 10 minutes or so.

The project has been a great success and I couldn't be happier, I can see this turning into my favorite bike. The position is very comfortable and the ride is smooth and comfortable. They say "steel is real" (4130) and I'm starting to agree. The handling is quick enough but it certainly seems to me to be more of a "touring" feel. My point of reference is my Giant OCR, on which I spend a great deal of time.

The specifics are as follows:

Trekking bars from Nashbar (very inexpensive right now). The bars are great, but I really wish they were an inch or two wider.
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=

Campus pedals (Shimano).

Cane Creek headset (I don't remember which one).

Nashbar Isis drive crankset (also very cheap right now). I got mostly because it was all black. Its comes with 53/39 rings and I'm using the 39. I had to use a set of "bmx" chain ring bolts to use only one ring. This was one of Joe's invaluable tips. I was killing myself looking for a "single" crank set.
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=

Shimano Nexus Inter-8 rear hub For those of you not familiar, it is an internally geared 8 speed hub actuated by a "twist" shifter. The two big reasons I wanted to use this were for ease of use and lack of maintenance, probably in that order. Namely, you can shift while stopped and there is no derailleur to to get banged around in bike racks or on curbs and what-not.

I got the "premium" version. I'm not sure what that really gains me except for a small weight savings. If nothing else by making my wallet a few grams lighter. Oh yeah, and it has a nifty red stripe on it.
http://bike.shimano.com/catalog/cycl...=1150759723920

Nexus 8 twist shifter
http://bike.shimano.com/catalog/cycl...=1150759723904

Nexus Roller brake This is the big shiny thing on the rear that looks kind of like a disc brake, but its not, it is a cooling fin. I really wanted a gear hub with a disc brake but Shimano does not offer one in the US. Sturmey-Archer does, but it will not be available until July 6th. I've heard it is of good quality. But I'm an American through and through and I have to have everything RIGHT NOW!
http://bike.shimano.com/catalog/cycl...=1150759723904

Velocity Dyad (I think) Hoops I wanted 700c wheels, in all black (no braking surface), for disc brakes, with 36 holes. (try and find them) The back wheel had to be custom anyway, so I got a Deore disc hub and a bunch of spokes to go with the hoops.
http://velocityusa.com/rims/road-rims.php

Brooks B17 Standard Saddle Need I say more. (I didn't think so)

Rohloff chain Given to me by Joe. Thanks Joe.

Shimano Deore MTB Brake Levers http://bike.shimano.com/catalog/cycl...=1150760752567

Avid disc brake http://www.sram.com/en/avid/discbrak...llbearing7.php

Surly Karate Monkey Frame and Fork http://www.surlybikes.com/karatemonkey.html
From the great group of guys at Indy Cycle Specialists. I can't say enough good things about them, they have a great shop and a TON of things in stock.
http://www.indycyclespecialist.com/

I don't have bar tape yet and I have not added the rack or bottle cages. I'm enjoying its simplicity at the moment and I can't bring myself to clutter it up. I took it out for a ~15 mile shake-down run this weekend and it is bliss. The disc brake is awesome, the roller brake works fine and the gear hub is really a very nice thing to have for "urban" (read stop and go) riding.

The gear hub works well. It seems to like shifting into some gears better than others while pedaling (sp?) but it is still very new. I don't mean that it is difficult to shift, just that sometimes I have to let up just a little.

Well, without further ado ( and there is much more ado here than I intended) here are some pics:











I'm including this picture to show how I routed the shifter cable in case you want to build one. It allowed me to use same cable routing you would for a derailleur (which you can use on this bike).





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Old 06-19-06, 06:22 PM   #2
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That my friend is one beautiful, slick, sleek & awesome bike.

I'm quite positive you'll get much enjoyment from that, I am just by looking at it.
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Old 06-19-06, 06:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DavidLee
That my friend is one beautiful, slick, sleek & awesome bike.

I'm quite positive you'll get much enjoyment from that, I am just by looking at it.
Thank you for the complements! I'm sure that you're right.
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Old 06-19-06, 06:35 PM   #4
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I think Im in

Sooooooo nice !!!!

Perfect 10 !
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Old 06-19-06, 06:47 PM   #5
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WOW

Unique, beautiful and functional. Nice job. Where are you gonna find black water bottles?
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Old 06-19-06, 06:54 PM   #6
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WOW

Unique, beautiful and functional. Nice job. Where are you gonna find black water bottles?
Oh drat! I hadn't thought of that.
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Old 06-19-06, 07:06 PM   #7
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How much did everything run, labor included? You've pretty much got the bike I want to make, or at at least ride anyway. Congratulations!
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Old 06-19-06, 07:12 PM   #8
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It was right at $1000. The LBS guy only charged me $40 labor.
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Old 06-21-06, 12:42 AM   #9
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It's so ... black!.

Gorgeous bike!
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Old 06-21-06, 01:16 AM   #10
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Great, I just creamed my jeans.
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Old 06-21-06, 01:19 AM   #11
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beautiful

Nice Bike so stealth so zoomy
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Old 06-21-06, 01:23 AM   #12
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Damn! I thought I never say this, but that internal hub looks really nice! It cleans up the look.
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Old 06-21-06, 03:06 AM   #13
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That looks strange with the shifter cable pointing back like that. Mine goes forward under the chain stay. You notice these things when you got em. If you have shifting problems, put it in forth gear and make sure the yellow lines match up (I can see it in the 4th picture, a little window on top of the rear hub by the chain). Mine was built in winter and by summer the cables had stretched a little and had to readjust it a few times. Have you gotten used to twisting up to shift down yet? It took me about a month.

Looks like a Kenda tire tread I had on my old bike. The all black wheels look nice when you have the disk brakes. The silver circles I have kind of ruin the effect on mine. I haven't put water bottles on mine either. Without all the mass of caliper brakes and stuff, I like the uncluttered look.

Are you happy with the gear inch range? I took me a few tries to get was best for me. I currently have 48 tooth crank in front and the 21 tooth cog in the back.

Wait! Three leaves... non serated edges... That's poison ivy!
Be careful. Photo #3, to the right of the "S" on the head tube. Like I said earlier, you notice these things when you got em. Dam bush hoggers. I should have know better when I passed that road crew.

Enjoy your bike.
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Old 06-21-06, 08:10 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the nice compliments, I'm really loving the bike.

@unkchunk-
I pointed the shifter cable backwards so I could use the "cable stay" on the frame and route the cable under the BB for a cleaner, smoother install. I put picture #6 above to show the routing. If it is pointed forward on this frame, it would require at tight "s" bend to get to the cable stay and I didn't think it would work very smoothly.
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Old 06-21-06, 09:50 AM   #15
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That looks beautiful. Now I want an all black bike like Hotblack Desiado's ride.
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Old 06-21-06, 10:01 AM   #16
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This is a great example of a bike build.

You selected your frame and every single component to get the exact bike you wanted.

Over time, one could acquire the parts in the best cost effective way.

This is what I would like to do as well. Using the Gunnar Cross Hairs frame with a Ultregra crank and Deore XT drive train.

Congratulations on finishing what you started.
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Old 06-21-06, 10:31 AM   #17
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Very pretty! Echoes of what I want to do with a Cross Check - or wanted to do. I would never have thought of going with the Karate Monkey, but it makes a lot of sense. Isn't the rear spacing on the KM 135mm, though? How did you get around that?
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Old 06-21-06, 11:11 AM   #18
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Very pretty! Echoes of what I want to do with a Cross Check - or wanted to do. I would never have thought of going with the Karate Monkey, but it makes a lot of sense. Isn't the rear spacing on the KM 135mm, though? How did you get around that?
The O.L.D. (over locknut dimemsion) on the Nexus hub is 132.5mm. That only leaves 2.5mm (or 1.25mm on each side if you prefer) and the steel frame will easily flex to accomodate that.
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Old 06-21-06, 02:00 PM   #19
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Awesome bike. That thing rocks!
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Old 06-21-06, 02:20 PM   #20
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I just wanted to second your ICS comment... I didn't buy my bike there, but they've always been more than helpful when I stopped in. They also tried to talk my girlfriend into cycling, which was nice since she won't listen to me.

Enjoy your bike.
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Old 06-21-06, 04:35 PM   #21
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Nice ride. All the way around. Much fun to be had on that.
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Old 06-21-06, 07:58 PM   #22
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Here's mine.

I like it. Built it up a few months ago; probably have a couple hundred miles on it now, in path and utility/errand cycling; used it on my commute a little too. It's nice. I've since changed around the handlebars a bit. Also it has a Wald basket on the front, the kind that Rivendell sells.

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Old 06-21-06, 08:02 PM   #23
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I thought about doing that with my shifter cable, but I figured that would kinda defeat the purpose of the design which is to keep all the delicate bits safely inboard of the chainstay.

Now if only Shimano would make a bar-end shifter for the Nexus 8, then I'd surely buy another one of these hubs.
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Old 06-21-06, 08:16 PM   #24
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Okay yeah, I didn't think of the problems the curved chain stay can create. Also see that you have to mount the arm of the roller break to the seat stay. I add a picture of my CrossCheck back when it was new for hub comparison. I wanted to get a shot from a similar angle, but the fenders and rack I have on now won't allow it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg nexus.JPG (87.0 KB, 104 views)
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Old 06-21-06, 08:19 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeen
Now if only Shimano would make a bar-end shifter for the Nexus 8, then I'd surely buy another one of these hubs.
Nice bike! I see you opted for the "skid mark brown" (thier name not mine ).

The shifter is the biggest bummer of the Nexus. Also, it would be nice to have an option for drop bars.
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